Danielle and Corey
The lovely Canadian photographer Carla Fedje sent over this divine Autumn engagement session of her sister Danielle and fiance Corey. Danielle and Corey wrote such a beautiful story of their relationship and engagement (and we all know how I love stories!) that I thought I’d let her share it herself with you…
“The actual date of my proposal fell on Wednesday, August 18th; however, I had purchased the ring a month earlier on Saturday, July 17th. I have always been told to never buy the first thing you find, regardless of what you are buying, whether it is a car or a piece of fruit; without seeing what else is out there you are bound to be led astray. In typical Corey fashion I found a ring without even trying.
Danielle and I had gone to pick her up an iPhone from Sherwood Park (apparently the only place left on earth with the 3GS still in stock). I had grown impatient with waiting for the fellow behind the counter to check and approve both Danielle and the customer before her. I began to wander outside the store, and found myself drifting towards the Ben Moss jewellery store. Once inside I seemed quite at ease for someone who had always said marriage was out of the question. I strolled up to the engagement section and glanced down at the rings with the most “I’m just wasting time” expression I could muster. Though as soon as the girl behind the counter had asked me if there was something I was looking for, I immediately blurted out the foreign phrase: “I am actually looking for an engagement ring”.
Surprising myself with how comfortable this sounded flowing from my own mouth, I went with it, and was shown ring after ring; all of them seeming to meet one of the major faux pas Danielle had drilled into my head over the preceding years. They were high and garish, square cut, and filled with tiny hearts, which made me feel ill. Then, as if I had just begun my quest, I found it nestled between two rings whose price tags read higher than I could count. It seemed perfect: A set of three bands, swirling together as if a delicate brush stroked the gold into that shape, around the centre diamond. I knew instantly that I had found it. I forgot every ring seen before it. Gushing over a ring like a fourteen-year-old girl. I stood and watched as the girl behind the counter wrote down the barcode and price on a small card, and handed it to me. All the while I was fighting the inner voice in my head that reminded me that the amount of money in my bank account was more than enough to purchase said ring at that moment.
I then followed the path of my newly acquired quest throughout the mall, bobbing in and out of jewellery stores, constantly glancing back towards Danielle’s direction, with the memory of the perfect ring floating in my mind’s eye. Each ring I saw after it, seemed to have caused me some physical or emotional pain, as I hated them simply for not being as eloquent as the first. More heart shaped and high garish rings that looked more like back scratchers than the things girls desired from birth, like squirrels drawn to nuts.
After we had left the mall I kept imagining the look on Danielle’s face when I would give her a ring, the shock in having what she desired above all else; although she often said this was not the case, I doubted this was true. I had recently been quarrelling with myself over this idea for quite a while, so it would be a lie to say it came out of nowhere. I had mentioned it in passing to a couple friends, and toyed with the idea while stuck for the long tedious hours of my workday. Upon our arrival home I jumped on my computer, entered the barcode online, and went upstairs. The first thing I could think of doing was sitting down with my Mum and showing her. I do not know why, but I needed her to tell me it was okay. I needed her to tell me I was not crazy, or moving too fast (yes, it is true that Danielle and I have been living together for years, and we are practically married already, but I needed reassurance).
Two days had passed, and once Saturday hit and I was free of Danielle for the day, I went back to see the ring I had fallen in love with, the piece of metal that haunted me, and yearned to be purchased. Within twenty minutes I was out of the mall, bank account depleted, and empty handed except for a small envelope (as they had to resize it of course) as proof that my life was about to change.
The twelve days it took to ship the ring out, get it resized, and then return to the store, felt like it would never end. I had never spent so much money on one item that I could not take home immediately. The days passed and I did the only thing I could do, I waited, and then I waited, and finally waited some. I made numerous attempts to call the jewellery store on days seven through eleven. Apparently patience is a virtue that is beyond me.
When the ring was finally at the store once again, giddiness came over me like a hot flash. I rushed to the store as soon as I could, trying hard not to sprint to my destination. I all but snatched the thing from the lady’s hand and rushed back home as if I were a bandit in the night. Danielle was at work so I did not have to be cautious once I arrived back home. I took it downstairs and laid upon my bed and shed the bag and box that kept the ring safe and gazed at it. My stomach rest against the bedding and my legs swung happily in the air, occasionally bumping into one another. I was instantly transported to a time when I would lay in that very position and push my toy cars across the mountainous range of my comforter. The only thing that was missing was the vrooming noises as the ring slid between my fingers.
For the next few weeks I hid the ring and all record of its existence in various underwear drawers in the house, like a small tour it nearly visited them all at one point or another. I carefully crafted my scheme of how I was going to propose, and did my best to make sure that Danielle could not possibly accidentally intercept my plans. It was time for the second part of my plan, as the first, of course, was buying the ring itself. Danielle and I went to the mall to pick up a pair of Lululemon pants that she purchased for me earlier in the week. I then convinced her to spend some time in Bath and Body Works, and if you are a female, or have one at your disposal, you will know that this is not too difficult to do. I purchased the Lululemon running jacket that had been the object of Danielle’s affection over the previous weeks, which I had to stop her from buying on multiple occasions, and let me say this is not an easy task. Like the ring, I hid the jacket as soon as we got home, slipping it from the inside of my bag, wherein it was wrapped in my pants. The next day I shoved an empty ring box into the jacket pocket, and stuffed it into a box much too small to give any indication as to it’s contents.
The hardest part of the whole thing was packing for our British Columbian holiday. I had to make sure I had my own luggage apart from Danielle’s.
“Why?” She asked, “we can put all our clothes in one.”
I eventually prevailed, and an old pair of black socks would house the ring and its box until it would find its way to my love.
When the 18th hit, six days after we had left home, I knew that this Wednesday would have to be the day. Although it was six days from our anniversary, we were going to the beach, and that would be the perfect time. We woke relatively early that day and went for the only jog we would take during our entire trip. Once we arrived back at Danielle’s Dad’s house, Danielle jumped into the shower. This left me alone in the kitchen with her father, Rick. I excused myself for a moment ran into the room, shuffled quickly through my bag grabbed the ring, and returned to the kitchen. I sat nervously on a stool, with the purple box clenched in my hand. I was glad I was sweaty already, rather than soiling another shirt with the sweat of nervousness.
I looked at up at Rick who was turned around, and said “Rick I have to ask you something”.
He turned around with a quizzical look on his face. I placed the box on the counter and without another word he looked down at the box, then back to me, and said yes. We had a quick moment where I formally asked if I could marry his daughter, he told me he had hoped that this was coming and then followed it by a quick hug. For which I do not blame him for it being quick, as I was quite sweaty.”
Corey’s turn “I waited patiently for Danielle to get out of the shower, and swapped places with her. When I was finished we packed our bag for a small picnic along the beach and set off on our journey. The ring, now stuffed into my shorts pocket.
As we drove down to the beach I made sure that I kept the ring as far away from Danielle as possible. I could not risk her inquiring about the square-ish bulge in my pocket. For that would be the end of my surprise.
We arrived at the beach rather quickly, perhaps even too quickly. It is one thing to have a shiny secret that you can keep hidden in an underwear drawer for a month; it is another thing to have it pressing against your leg. I had not felt any hesitation about asking Danielle to marry me, that is, until I was in the car on the way to the beach. I knew she would say yes, but I still feared rejection. It is funny that no matter how sure you can be about something, to act on it is on of the most difficult things you will ever have to do.
It was quite windy on the ocean that day, the waves crashed over one another in an almost rhythmic fashion. We found a spot between a few large pieces of driftwood. Danielle and I laid a towel across the sand and put our bag down on the driftwood beside us. We sat down on the towel, and I watched as Danielle opened a cider and took her first sip.
“Do you want to open our presents now?” I asked, like a child on Christmas morning, eager with anticipation.
I opened mine first, it was the bright orange pocketknife I had been admiring for a quite awhile. I had never owned a good quality knife before and wanted to play with it, but as exciting as the eight or so features the knife had were, I could only think of the ring in my pocket.
Danielle opened her gift next, the small box that I had stuffed her running jacket in split open in an instant and the jacket rolled open in her arms. As she admiringly examined the thing she noticed a lump in the pocket.
“Is there something inside?” She asked, unzipping the pocket.
She pulled her hand from inside the jacket and a small purple box was clenched tightly in her hand.
“Did you get me jewellery?” She asked, as she opened the box.
Before Danielle had it all the way open, I said, “yeah right, you wish”.
He fingers cracked the box open, to reveal nothing on the inside. I laughed and she called me a jerk. She looked away for a brief moment, and I pulled the ring box that I had been clutching since she began to open her gift, from my pocket and opened it. Danielle looked down at the thing, which shone brilliantly in the sun.
“Really?” She said, her eyes welling with tears.
“Really” I replied, as I took the ring from its box and placed it on her finger.
Danielle sat, stared, and cried at it for a moment, then looked up at me and kissed me.
“You know,” I said, “You didn’t even let me ask you yet”.
“Oh,” she replied.
“Danielle, will you marry me?”
She then did what I imagine all girls do when they are presented with an engagement ring, and called everyone she could think of. I sat calmly in the sand building a tower with the nearby rocks. I had done it, I had proposed to the girl that I loved. As Danielle continued to make numerous phone calls from our beach picnic spot, I stood up and walked towards the water. I realized in that moment that I was an adult, and began to see how far I could throw rocks into the ocean.”
Photos by Carla Fedje
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